Mushishi – episode 2

November 2, 2005 on 2:00 pm | In Mushishi | 1 Comment

“Light in the eyelids”

I used to think I really hated horror, but anime horror I can deal with; this episode was a bit more out there than the first, but it retains class. Besides which, Mushishi more supernatural than horror.
I’m not entirely sure that Ginko should have dealt with children for two consecutive episodes, as it might set a precedent, but this series is pure beauty.

Far off in the countryside lives Sui, a girl whose eyes are too sensitive to light. A distant relative and her son, Biki, look after Sui, “keeping the light in her heart”. Ginko stops by after hearing tell of a girl who lives in darkness, and decides that mushi are afoot.

This episode is darker than the first, with the mushi having a physically detrimental effect on their target. I would argue that the mushi in the first episode had selfish, human harming motivations, but these ones are kind of horrid.
Now, and it’s a rather tired metaphor but one that works nonetheless, this episode also shows how humans can be cruel without the excuse of being instinctive spirits. By failing to help Sui, her family allowed the mushi to take more control than they would have been allowed.
Admittedly, it is probably hard to secure a mushishi to treat someone, but a distinct lack of effort is nothing but bad news. The only consolation that Sui had was that Biki felt no fear or sympathy, just camaraderie. Children can be cruel, but they can also have boundless reserves of kindness.

Despite all of the horrible things that happened with eyes in this episode, it was never too graphic to stomach. Ginko did not gain anything, as he did with his last mission; in fact, he lost something. This makes the character seem more sympathetic, and suggests that being a mushishi might not be the most thankful job that one can perform.

We are coming to understand Ginko through his job, and this is the best way that one can tackle an episodic series. It worked for City Hunter; it worked for Master Keaton*; it works for Mushishi.

*To be honest one of my first thoughts of Mushishi was that it’s like a supernatural Master Keaton. Although not so cosmopolitan, I like to think I’m not that far wrong.

1 Comment

  1. This is really a great show. Even though every episode seems to get better, this one stays in my head(maybe because of the eye). I love how it shows the emotions so clearly and how vounerable the people are to mushi, but also shows how the mushi are affected by the poeple. So really no side has the winner favor. This show is not so much a horror, but this episode is graphic in some ways, but more humorous than gross. The art is beautiful and the dialog is great. I think you did a nice job on all of the episodes as far as summing them up and saying how they reflect on real human emotions and real feelings by using myth to tell stories of everyday life.

    Comment by emily — May 14, 2008 #

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